Game thoughts

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  • Very simply, this Packer team isn’t nearly as good as I thought they’d be. Not even close.
  • Our defense looked surprisingly vulnerable late in the game. I can’t totally discount the plays Josh Freeman made, he looked good. But our defense was obviously just over-matched and that’s pathetic against a team with a rookie QB that hasn’t done crap on offense all year.
  • Mike McCarthy’s run/pass mix was again just way off, especially in the first half. We did score points yes, and there were some quality pass plays no doubt. But a better run/pass mix would have buried TB early on – and importantly, kept the ball in our hands even more.
  • Special teams continues to be a weakness. Punting, coverage, even our return game. Just weak – yet we kept 3 FBs on the roster to help this situation out. Waste of roster space if we’re going to suck anyway.
  • Jeremy Kapinos hit some bad punts. Even taking into account a stiff wind, he is just not an asset to this team right now.
  • Our secondary, except Charles Woodson, looks bad. We have been lit up at critical times by a number of different QBs this year.
  • Aaron Kampman is slow – very slow. This is yet another team that took advantage of Kampman in space. He is out of place as an OLB and the experiment should end now. Put a better, smaller athlete out there like Desmond Bishop and maybe, move Kampman to a DE position. Or, just go back to a 4-3 – what we’re doing is not working at critical moments in the game. Don’t be deceived by looking at our overall defensive stast because they likely won’t do justice to the problems this defense has had at critical moments.
  • For years, I made fun of Eli Manning for what I called his “loser face”. He looked like the kind of guy who was most natural facially after a loss. Well, I was proven wrong by Eli – big-time. But I am beginning to worry that this Packers team, starting with the head coach, has somewhat of a collective loser-face like look on the sidelines. These guys should be furious after this loss. I didn’t see that. I want to see anger and frustration after this loss. And I want changes.
  • This is a critical moment in our season. It is the halfway point. We have not played well and are only 4-4 because of the incredibly weak schedule we’ve played. How we respond here will say a lot. Changes have to take place. Our intensity level, our style of play, our execution, our penalty problem, our O-line, our LBs, our secondary, our special teams, Rodgers’ pocket awareness, playcalling – all of these things need to change and it starts with the coach. While MM isn’t responsible directly for the defense or the special teams, he is the head coach and is responsible for the coaches who are coaching for him. He has license to overrule any coach at any time. So this is on him. You’re on notice Mike McCarthy.
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19 Responses to “Game thoughts”

  1. nick Says:

    You are spot on in the second to last bullet point. These players are playing to collect checks right now. It actually validates the points Woodson, Harris, and Jolly have been making that more veteran players are needed. The young guys just dont care. (FYI – a better, more respected coach can change that)

    As for Rodgers, I am absolutely amazed at his poise and diplomacy week after week. How he doesnt call out the offensive line or coaching staff for not protecting him speaks volumes to his character. If this continues, he is going to age in dog years and we will have ruined the career of an absolutely fantastic quarterback.

  2. Ron La Canne Says:

    Sorry Andy, it’s too late to do anything. This has been going on since game two last year. It’s not fixed now and it won’t be until TT and MM and the rest of them are gone. They both have to go because they’ll never get a good coach with TT as the boss.

    I’ve been criticised and mocked for my attitude about the O line. Well, anyone think I was wrong now? There is no worse O line in the NFL than that of the Packers. And, it was that way last year! Post season fixes Duke Preston.

    The defense is confused and lining up wrong all the time. Someone said last week that the Defense playbook was bigger than the offensive playbook. Simplify and and play with some aggression and it couldn’t be worse than it is now.

    The STs are awful no improvement there either. It is time to change. The sooner the better.

  3. Bob Nichols Says:

    Aaron Rodgers Drive aka Jeff George Blvd

    • nick Says:

      With this offensive line – youre right. I would re-classify it as “Joe Theismann Street” though – because Rodgers wont be an overrated journeyman, he will suffer a career ending injury from taking 67 sacks a season.

  4. awhayes Says:

    Ron – for the record, I for one, have never criticized your criticism of the o-line. You’ve been consistent on this point for a few years now and you’ve been absolutely right. Funny that Mike Sherman was far better at drafting for and developing O-LIne talent. Far better.

  5. Ace Says:

    Our 3-4 stops no one. Kampman is out of place. Hawk too slow to cover as LB in 3-4. Wrong personnel for 3-4. Andy–cannot successfully switch to 4-3 at this point. NO practice at it. How long can you have the youngest team in the NFL and be successful? Didn’t MM take on special teams responsibility this year and they are terrible. If Crosby hadn’t boomed a couple it would have been worse. Green tries but is not a returner. With Blackmon and Nelson out there is no one. Pick up a free agent and drop a fb. Season is slipping away or has. How can this team put no pressure on a qb–a rookie at that–does every team have a superb OL, I think not. Time for a change–Bishop’s time has come as mistake prone as he is. 7-9 for the season. TT gone, possibly MM if not 9-7 or better.

  6. Cindy V Says:

    With all the problem areas for the Packers, there is just no way it can be “fixed” for next week. Besides, we’ve heard that “we’ll get this fixed” to often these past two years. As a loyal Packer fan, I’ve often felt that some people were too early jumping on the “Dump Ted” or “Fire Mike” bandwagon. I think it’s now time I join the chorus. I know it won’t happen this season but perhaps next year we will have a better GM and Coach. Are you listening Mark Murphy?

  7. cheddarshredder Says:

    As a Vikings fan, I wish I could say that I am sorry to hear the collapse of the Packers, but I’m not. I think that Mr. Thompson has been one of the greatest things to happen to the rest of the division in a very long time. We can thank him for saving us from another mediocre season due to mediocre QB play. Sure it took a year, but I digress. He doesn’t like making any sort of a splash in free agency. He likes to keep a roster that is just over the legal drinking age. Yes, TT has been a gift for all of the teams in the division.

    However, keep the faith Packer fans…it’s not all doom and gloom. For one, your young team thing can pay dividends in the future. Maybe when TT is gone, but there is something to be said for building from scratch sometimes. Second, I happen to think that McCarthy is a very capable coach who is no nonsense and demands respect. That will only work from a young team without the veteran players revolting. I think he gets the most from the young players that he can. Lastly, you have the most talented QB in the division. Easily top 10 in the league. Believe me it pains me to say that. I don’t look forward to facing him when he gets a decent O line in front of him that protects him and he has time to dice up opposing defenses. It only takes 2 to 3 years to completely turn over a franchise…both in a positive and a negative.

    I, for one, love playing the Pack. It’s the best rivalry in the NFL with lots of memorable games that have gone both ways. I’m sure that most of you feel the same when I say that it’s considered a good season if you can sweep the other team.

    Keep the faith and look forward to playing you next season…

    • nick Says:

      Classy post cheddar. While the season isnt over; I hope the Pack fields a team that sweeps the Vikings next year.

      See you then.

  8. 56Coop Says:

    Well, well, where to start?

    First, I think Cowher is not an option. Rumor has it in NC, that there have been backroom talks about Cowher coaching the Panthers after Fox’s tenure. After yesterday, I believe that time has come.

    All of the problems with the Packers have been well documented here, unfortunately, week after week after week. No need to reiterate.

    One thing that hasn’t been discussed much is the distinction between Favre & Rodgers. Farve understood his receiver’s routes and would often just throw the ball where the receiver was SUPPOSED to be. (Which might explain why he leads the league in INT’s). I think that’s one part of Aaron’s game he really needs to work on. It appears to me that Aaron has to see his target before he throws which leads to him holding on to the ball way too long. It’s a little thing called timing and I think that’s something missing in this team. I remember lots of passes during Favre’s years here where the receiver would make his break and the ball would be right there.

    Maybe it’s the play calling. Seems like MM’s gotta dial up at least one long ball every 3 or 4 downs. He keeps talking about “down & distance”. When you throw a 20-30 yard pass and don’t complete it you’ve gained nothing as far as that’s concerned. Obviously when it is completed it’s a thing of beauty but he relies to heavily on the long ball IMHO. In addition, with an O-line as bad as ours those long balls take time to develope and it’s kinda hard for Aaron to throw the ball when he’s got the opposing guards & tackles in the backfield as well as his own. Which leads back to timing. Throw the ball where the receiver is supposed to be.

    Oh well, count me on board as one who thinks TT’s gotta go. I still think MM could coach a team that has all of it’s pieces & I’m confident that ain’t gonna happen with TT. The man has very little ability at scouting true NFL caliber talent. Yes, he’s lucked into a few but he’s had many more misses. Don’t misunderstand me, if MM does get fired I won’t shed any tears but if MM goes and TT stays then nothing has been accomplished.

    Another thing that bothers me is the quality of O-lineman across the league. GB, Chicago, Rams, Redskins, hell even the Vikes have weaknesses there. I guess it’s a hard thing to do drafting an O lineman that can play in the NFL. Might be a good reason to use the freakin FA system.

    I don’t know, maybe I’m just rambling. Obviously their football minds are better than mine or I’d be a coach, right? I do know that I am dreadfully tired of this “product” GB is putting on the field. 7-9 at best with the schedule we have coming up–at best.

    Oh well, hello mediocrity.

    Welcome back!!

    (sigh)

  9. MAGICMAN Says:

    Like many of the long time fans, in the 50+ years of watching the Packers, we have seen some really bad times and really good times. We enjoyed a long period of good times during the time Favre played. But look at the support the team and he got from the management. Somewhere in the morass of the Executive committee process, the board members have failed in their duty to hire capable and motivated leadership. What they hired are second class managers that seem to be more concerned about their white teeth and emmaculate hair. Lombardi. Wolfe, Holmgren and other leaders would not tolerate the type of performance or lack of intensity the players are demonstrating. The unemotional news conference answers such as the O-line concerns me.’ Wow. How can any team be inpsired by Teddie, Murphy and Mikey?
    The lack of an owner clearly is a disadvantage for the Packers

  10. 56Coop Says:

    To the Hayes Brothers:

    Thanks for this site. Thanks for a place to vent without the bullshit at PFT.

    One good thing about a loss like this, at least it get’s you some new posters on your blog.

    Oh hell, I’m turning into Packerbelle. Always looking for the good. Speaking of which, Packerbelle, you OK? Where are you?

  11. DaveK Says:

    Larry Johnson cut this AM. Any interest? I think he is a Vet so I don’t think he goes through waivers. I have not see a chief’s game in years so I have no idea if he is any good anymore.

  12. Ron La Canne Says:

    Dave, he was cut because he used anti-gay slurs loudly and often in public. Hence, he is probably too hot to handle for anyone but Al Davis. And, we all know Goodell’s stand on divisiveness. That and he’s averaging 2.2 ypc.

  13. awhayes Says:

    No problem Coop – it’s fun to do this, except on days like yesterday. (Though even then, it is healthy I think to vent).

    DaveK – saw that. LJ has lost a step and he’s obviously not a great character guy. That said, he’s not awful and I’m totally willing to overlook character at this point. It would certainly be an intriguing backfield with Grant, Green and LJ though. My biggest concern might be how we’d split 6 carries a game 3 ways! Joking aside, it’s possible that wherever LJ goes from here, he could feel revitalized because he’s finally out of KC – and might then contribute. Brother Steve thinks he could contribute wherever he goes from here.

  14. DaveK Says:

    Wow, I thought LJ was just having a beef with the KC management. No idea about the other stuff.

  15. terryott Says:

    I’m the voice of “player evaluation goofups”, and of late I am focused on Tyrell Sutton’s release. Sure, I’m biased because I just love this guy. But to me, it’s symptomatic of questions about TT’s and MM’s judgment in getting the KIND of players we need to be a “class” organization. When they fail to see a diamond in the rough (and no so rough at that), and cannot envision how a talented and versatile guy might become a valuable asset, how can they be trusted with the daunting task of building a world-class roster?

    Even more to the point, since the strategy seems to be “build with youth” and then you walk away from one of the more promising prospects for no good reason — it’s very discouraging.

    Now, what has Sutton done with Carolina? Waited. His chance did not even come at RB. Carolina’s two fullbacks are out with injury, and so T-Sutt enters AS A FULLBACK yesterday, sharing time with a 300+ pound guard also playing out of position. Couldn’t have been TOO inadequate as the Panthers gave the Saints a game until they screwed it up late with a couple of fumbles (not by Sutton). This was the guy who is too small, remember, and didn’t know how to block. So all he does is step in at a position he’s never played and strapped on the helmet. First NFL play… nine yards up the middle. This is from a Panthers commentator, who evaluates the play of their squad and gives Sutton a ^ sign:

    /\ Tyrell Sutton. The mystery of who would start at fullback for the Panthers was answered on the first play of the game, as Sutton tallied a slew of firsts. He was active for his first career NFL game, made his first NFL start, got his first NFL carry and picked up his first nine NFL yards all on the first play of the game. Sutton filled in nicely at fullback for the Panthers, blocking the way for DeAngelo to amass 149 yards on the ground while running for 15 yards on three carries and catching a pass for eleven more. The rookie out of Northwestern didn’t look much like a guy playing in his first NFL game, and with the way the return game is going, I’d be okay with letting him return some kicks once one or both of our fullbacks are back healthy.

    So, he’s not Warrick Dunn yet, but he is on his way to (I predict) a stellar career in the NFL. This really is testing my patience.

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